Gardening isn’t exactly my greatest talent. I’ve definitely never had much of a green thumb. But I’m grateful for a few good friends who have, over time, helped me figure out how to add some flowers and landscaping to my otherwise fairly simple yard.
While the cold, snowy weather here in the Midwest may have delayed our spring plans a bit, I’m still confident that someday we’ll get to the point where we can safely put seeds in the ground or begin to see flowers sprouting up. That’s actually one of my favorite things about this time of year—this undeniable sense of hope that change is just around the corner. The cold can’t last forever. And the sun will eventually start to warm up our little corner of the planet.
Even more than that sense of hope, though, this annual springtime routine reminds me of my need for trust. About this time every year, we take part in this strange routine that would make no sense at all unless we happened to understand a thing or two about biology. We put a small collection of seeds into dark soil and cover them up with a peculiar expectation that they will eventually turn into something beautiful and fruitful, something so very different from where it started.
Is there a more perfect metaphor for what it means to live as faithful people in the world? In a sense, we trust that the work we do in the world will, over time, bear fruit. Through our words and our actions, through the ways we interact with others, our listening and encouragement of one another, we are essentially planting seeds.
We have this opportunity, each and every day, to sow love and compassion and care, in the lives of all sorts of people who surround us. Even the simplest ways we carry ourselves and choose to treat one another—it’s like dropping a seed in the rich soil of our friends or co-workers, the grocery store clerk, next door neighbor, or complete stranger. And we live with this crazy idea that these seemingly small acts might just take root and grow goodness and grace, even in the most unsuspecting of places.
It seems as though we live our very best lives when we can go about our days seeing ourselves as the planters of seeds. We use our hands and hearts to share love and joy with others. And then we trust that, with time and God’s work, our efforts will be beautifully fruitful.